We just love this description that Berlitz wrote about P&O Cruises: “P&O Cruises provides fun entertainment for the beer-and-bikini brigade and their families…” Hmm…. we’re pretty sure there must be more to this cruise line. While we haven’t sailed or been on a site inspection of their ships, here’s what we’ve learned in our research. There are actually TWO P&O Cruises – one with a main homeport in Southampton who is the biggest operator that caters to the British market and second, P&O Cruises Australia (a sister company) which is the largest permanent big-ship cruise line in Australia. We will separate the two. Even though they are owned by the same company, they appear quite different.
P&O originates from 1822 and began as a partnership between a London ship broker and a sailor. They actually used to deliver mail. Then in 1840 they introduced passenger service and did sea tours. As a result, P&O was recognized as the world’s oldest cruise line. They currently have seven ships in their fleet with one that will join the fleet in 2015. A random fact is one of their ships, Oriana, holds the Golden Cockerel trophy for the fastest ship in the fleet. The fleet is definitely tailored to British tastes. And you will find most of their ships sail from Southampton and offer 14-night cruises.
Began as a pleasure cruise line in 1932. Their itineraries mostly consist of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. All of their ships actually come from within their parent company’s brands (Carnival Corp.) However, they do receive refurbishments and get that added Aussie touch. They are known as a family line, similar to a Carnival ship’s fun atmosphere. They offer three ships in their fleet and have a couple more that will be moving from the Holland America line and being rebranded for P&O Cruises Australia.
We included P&O on our 30 day feature because, well, we like Australia and thought it would be pretty cool to try them out in the future. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!